and here) an upscale retirement community told residents in the assisted living wing that they no longer had a seat at the table in the independent living dining room. Many had eaten in this dining room for years. But the facility then banned assisted living residents from the independent living dining room. In some cases, assisted living residents could no longer share dinner with their independent living spouses. Assisted living residents were also banned from social activities in the independent living facility.
But these seniors reminded us that just because you need some help does not mean you are a pushover. They and their families fought back. They protested to board members and hired an elder care attorney. And by calling Paula Span, they shined a national spotlight on their plight. In the end, the retirement community did the right thing. Residents can once again eat in any dining room. 86 year old Dorothy Evans summed it up best: “Don’t mess with us.” Bravo!
So we should all give a big thank you to these seniors who have won an important victory for the rights of persons in assisted living. And thanks to Paula Span for telling this story.
For now, this is just a local victory, but it will hopefully spur a national movement.
by: Ken Covinsky (@geri_doc)